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18-21 Community Connections

What is Community Connections?

Harrison School District 2 offers the Community Connections Program to young adults ages 18-21 who have already met their requirements for a high school diploma. The purpose of this program is to introduce participants and their families to the services available in our community that serve individuals with special needs. A wide range of services is offered, based on student needs. Our services accommodate students with significant needs who:

  • Require close supervision
  • Need support in the community for job development skills
  • Request support in connecting with appropriate resources.

While students are enrolled in Community Connections they will have the opportunity to explore selected adult agencies and programs and decide which ones they may wish to pursue as adults. Some families choose to remain with one agency throughout their enrollment in 18-21 services, while others choose to explore more options and prefer to have more varied experiences. Parent and student input is an essential part of this program that contributes to the success of the student's experience and growth.

The Mandate

  • Under both the Rehabilitation Act and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), "Transition Services" are defined as a coordinated set of activities for a student, designed within an outcome-oriented process, that promote movement from school to post-school activities, including:
  • Post-secondary education
  • Vocational training
  • Integrated employment (including supported employment)
  • Continuing and adult education
  • Adult services
  • Community Participation
  • Job Support

The coordinated set of activities shall be based upon the individual student's needs, taking into account the student's preferences and interests and shall include:

  • Community experiences
  • Development of employment
  • Development of other post school adult living activities
  • Acquisition of daily living skills (when appropriate)
  • Functional vocational evaluation (when appropriate)
  • Community participation
  • Independent living

When does Transition begin?

When a student is 15, but no later than the 9th grade, a transition plan will be put in place by the school IEP team. This plan includes a vocational assessment and projected course outline. It may also include placement on any appropriate community agency waiting lists. An D2 Community Connections Service Provider will attend each student's 12th grade IEP meeting to discuss transition options.

Who is Eligible for services through Community Connections?

Any D2 student between the ages of 18 and 21 with special education needs is eligible. These students must be available and ready to engage in community experiences and/or post-secondary training.

A comprehensive array of follow-up support is provided to assist students in addressing their community goals and objectives. Participating agencies include:

  • Goodwill Industries
  • Carmel Community Living Corp.
  • Bright Futures Adult Day Program
  • MOSAIC Day Program
  • And many others

What are the Benefits of Community Connections Services?

Throughout a student's involvement in Community Connections Services, staff coordinate closely with adult service agencies to assure that a comprehensive program is in place by the time the student receives their diploma. Other adult service providers are contacted as needed in order to provide students with available benefits. Transition is not a classroom or a job placement service.

When do Community Connections Services end? Do students receive a Diploma?

Services are provided through the semester a student turns 21, OR when a student requests his/her diploma. Students who participate in Community Connections Services until age 21 will receive their diploma at the time of their exit meeting.